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While Mayor Hahn culls lucrative PR deals from the City Hall budget, the big bucks are being made in contracts handed out to law firms. The city paid $18.9 million for private legal advice last year, on top of the $86.4 million budgeted for the in-house office of City Attorney, Patrick McGreevy reported in Sunday's Times. I'm sure you will be shocked to hear that many of the L.A. law firms that received the most work also lead the list of firms whose partners and staff lawyers contributed the most money to the political coffers of Hahn and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. You might think, well, surely these deals are competitively bid to avoid any possibility of politics entering in. But you would be, well, wrong.

In fact, McGreevy writes:

In many cases, the records show, contracts were approved or expanded by the city within weeks of a political fundraiser held by the benefiting law firm.

The big winner last year was O'Melveny and Myers, which got $2.26 million from City Hall. McGreevy notes (cough) that (ahem) O'Melveny "is also the law firm that is the biggest source of campaign contributions to Hahn and Delgadillo."

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